Recently I made up my mind that I was going to become more proactive about my finances. For me, that meant learning how to invest. I found that finding a beginning guide to investing is the easy part, but choosing the right one is a little more of a process.
You see, if you were to pay a visit to your library or local book store, you would find probably dozens if not hundreds of books that claim to be a beginning guide to investing.
But sometimes too much choice is worse than no choice at all.
How on Earth do you choose one?
Many top investors will all have their own ideas of what you should or shouldn't do when investing.
How can you narrow down your choices? Or should you just look through the phone book and hire someone to do it for you?
Well, I can't tell you what you should do, ultimately only you can make that decision. What I can do is to provide you with some ideas and some things I learned as I was starting out.
Hopefully some of this information will make it easier for you to decide the best course of action too:
1. First of all, I decided that no one will ever care about my money as much as I do so I decided against just hiring someone to do it for me.
I will work with someone but only after I've gained a little knowledge so I can be a partner in the decisions that are being made.
I want to have enough knowledge to determine whether or not the information I am getting sounds like it is a good fit for me or not.
One other note on this point, make sure if / when you do hire someone to work with that you know just what you are getting. Not everyone who claims to be a financial adviser has your best interest at heart.
If you read the fine print of the contract you may even see a few lines that says something along the lines of this:
"At times the interest of the client and our interests will not be the same, if that occurs we will do what is in our best interest".
That is not the exact wording of course, but it is close. The bottom line is that the company will do what is best for them (buying and selling lots of stocks so they can make a commission) even if it isn't best for you. Be careful.
2. Some of the most successful investors of all time have done things counter to what most of the "experts" will tell you to do. You have to decide if you will do what the crowd tells you that you should do or if you want to pick someone who has made a fortune investing and follow what they do.
That is the path I choose. I picked an investor who has literally made millions investing and found out all I could about his methods and followed those.
Even though a lot of what he does runs totally counter to the prevailing wisdom, I feel like if it's good enough for a billionaire, it's good enough for me!
If I were you I would find someone who knows what they are doing, learn all I can, start small and continue to educate myself.
I believe that is the best way to have success in investing.